“Imagine now a man who is deprived of everyone he loves, and at the same time of his house, his habits, his clothes, in short, of everything he possesses: he will be a hollow man, reduced to suffering and needs, forgetful of dignity and restraint, for he who loses all often easily loses himself.” This short quote is taken from Primo Levi’s “Survival in Auschwitz”. It depicts a true story of Primo Levi during the Holocaust, who was relocated to an extermination camp after beginning a great life after college. Primo was captured with a resistant group from Italy. He used his college education and degree in chemistry to stay alive.
The above quote brings a similar quote to mind. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his own soul”. That quote is taken from the front wall of St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Olivia, Minnesota. It gives an idea about our savior Jesus Christ’s life. He spent his whole life teaching the word of God and humanity to all people of any race or religion. These two, Primo Levi and Jesus Christ, lived similar lives.
Primo lived growing up as a Jewish citizen during the bad economic times of Europe. Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party blamed this economic tragedy on the Jewish society. Primo tried to fight against this, but like most Jews was found guilty and taken to conservation camps. Here he was giving the chance of what he learned in life to stay alive and to see himself leave the hellish camp. During his time in Auschwitz he was deprived of everything from his clothes to even his name. After the liberation of Auschwitz, Primo again had nothing. Necessities and goods were furnished throughout his life and now Primo had to start all over. He had nothing except for life, something most people who walked through the front gates of Auschwitz lost.
Jesus Christ lived a similar life many, many years before. He lived his young adulthood life teaching the people of the world about God and humanity. He cherished his life and the life of others. He respected all living things and tried to help them live a non-sinful life. He too was deprived of things near the end of his life. Like Primo, Jesus was convicted of what he thought and spoke of and was killed. The main difference between the two men is that Jesus lost his life. Jesus though had a second chance as he was later resurrected from hell and brought into heaven. There he again helped the people of the world.
Furthermore, both of these men were convicted of religious believes and ripped away of their lives. Even though Primo died many years after his stay at Auschwitz, he was never the same before that. “He will be a man whose life and death can be lightly decided with no sense of human affinity, in the most fortunate of cases, on the basis of a pure judgment of utility. It is in the way that one can understand the double sense of the term, extermination camp, and it is now clear what we seek to express with the phrase: to live on the bottom.